Mitt releases 2011 tax returns

From Human Events:

As promised earlier this year, Mitt Romney is releasing his full 2011 tax returns Friday. His 2010 returns were released in January.

According to CNN, Romney “made $13.7 million last year and paid $1.94 million in federal income taxes, giving him an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent.” Both his income and tax payment were considerably lower than a thumbnail estimate he provided back in April.

Much of the Democrats’ class warfare rhetoric relies upon confusing nominal and effective tax rates. Virtually no one pays their nominal rate – there are always deductions and exemptions, many of them offered as incentives to convince citizens to do things the government finds socially useful. For example, capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than the marginal income dollars of high earners. A great deal of Romney’s income comes from such productive, job-creating investments. As CNN notes, he’s still paying a higher effective tax rate than the average American, although payroll taxes further complicate the comparison.

Romney and his wife Ann also gave $4 million to charity, but that doesn’t count, since everyone knows the only real way to demonstrate compassion is to insist that other people give more money to the government. The Romney campaign says that he didn’t even take the full deduction allowed for his charitable contributions.

Romney has long said he would release his returns for 2010 and 2011. Only recently have Democrats decided he also needs to release the returns for 2002 through 2009, a matter they portray as far more urgent than investigating what Barack Obama has done with the public treasury. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has disgracefully abused his office to air unfounded accusations that Romney didn’t pay any taxes at all over the past decade, claiming he was told as much by a phantasmal figure who somehow gained access to all ten years of Romney’s tax data.

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